For the first time since 2019, Fidget are rehearsing a show; Pirate Bonnie. The idea started life with research in Leeds Central Library and I wrote a first draft around home-schooling my kids in lockdown. After re-working the script into a digital story and developing it to a second draft through a Zoom R&D, I had to put the much-tinkered-with script down while Fidget R&D’d other projects. At times it felt like Pirate Bonnie might never meet a live audience.
Pirate Bonnie is a one-woman show all about pirates, real female pirates from different times and different parts of the world who all, in different ways said, “Stuff this, it’s a pirate’s life for me!”
They all did something that wasn’t expected of them. They all had extraordinary and fascinating lives. And, although they may not have exactly been nice people, their stories are incredible. Their saying “STUFF THIS” to expectations and charting their own course is undoubtedly inspiring, as is the way they each formed a crew. They each gathered pirates; other misfits, outcasts and friends who became a loyal team.
In our show, Bonnie invites the whole audience to become her crew and we set sail on an adventure to find treasure. And to make this show, we’ve formed our own excellent crew. Jill Dowse, the Actor-Musician who plays Bonnie, is compelling, hilarious and a joy to watch. She navigates puppets, accordion, tin whistle, moustaches on sticks and a fleet of origami boats with aplomb. Musical Director, Claire O’Connor is awe-inspiringly talented and has written beautiful songs for Bonnie and found magical musical moments throughout the show. Designer, Emma Williams is somehow creating a multitude of wonderful visual worlds which will stay within our tiny budget and pack into our tiny van. The brilliant Stage Manager Kayleigh Chapman and organisational dynamo of a Tour Manager, Pavla Beier, will ensure smooth sailing over the course of our tour. And of course, my fellow Fidget, Captain Heaton is steering the ship with insight, care and only the occasional use of a moustache on a stick.
It’s a strange feeling for this much delayed show to be finally off the page and into the real world. Strange and exciting and a little bit scary. But we’ve got a brilliant crew and we hope you’d like to come and join us too.